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Daniel Thornburg Griffin
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Birth: Mar. 25, 1911
Wabash County
Illinois, USA
Death: Dec. 7, 1941
Hawaii, USA

US Naval Veteran. First American Caualty in the United Sates involvement in World War II. Daniel Griffin enlisted in the United States Navy on October 6, 1930. After basic training he went on to serve aboard the battleships USS California, USS Tennessee, and the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga. Daniel graduated as a Naval Avaition Pilot in 1938 and was sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to fly patrol missions aboard PBY (flying boat) aircraft. In March of 1941 he transferred to Kaneohe Bay with Patrol Squadron 12. On the morning of December 7, 1941, Daniel was standing a routine watch when he saw the Japanese planes approaching the base, he realized that they were not from the United States military. His PBY was at the ready; sitting in the bay with two of the four crew members already on board. Daniel called out to the crew members on board the plane to start the engines as he began to swim out to the PBY. Daniel settled into the pilot's seat and began to taxi the plane for takeoff. Daniel's PBY was hit by Japanese gunfire just as he became airborne. It caught fire and sank in Kaneohe Bay. Daniel was badly burned but managed to escape the plane and attempt to swim back to shore. The Japanese planes continued strafing the Kaneohe Bay waters with machine gunfire. Daniel sustained a bullet wound to the head, killing him instantly. It is believed that Daniel was the first serviceman to die at Kaneohe Bay that day making him the first US casualty of WWII. In 1943, Daniel's widow Lucille had the honor of christening a destroyer escort named for him, the USS Daniel T. Griffin (DE-54).
Family links: 
  Pearl Daniel Griffin (1879 - 1950)
  Pernia Myretta Thornburg Griffin (1879 - 1969)
  Lucile Grace Brett Orbin (1914 - 1989)*
  Charles Donovon Griffin (1906 - 1906)*
  Daniel Thornburg Griffin (1911 - 1941)
*Calculated relationship

Note: Buried: 10/17/1947, Source: City of Colo Spgs cemetery data 3/13/09
Evergreen Cemetery
Colorado Springs
El Paso County
Colorado, USA
Plot: Block 00223 000050 - 0000SE
Created by: Joe & Connie, and Mariah
Record added: Mar 14, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34815503
Daniel Thornburg Griffin
Added by: Ron West
Daniel Thornburg Griffin
Added by: Ron West
Daniel Thornburg Griffin
Added by: Ron West
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- Abby Brock-Lane
 Added: Aug. 24, 2014

 Added: Dec. 2, 2013

- Ernest Sharpe Jr
 Added: Jul. 21, 2013

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